Showing posts with label gay in military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gay in military. Show all posts

Monday, September 20, 2021

100,000 LGBT veterans get justice

There have been a lot of reports over the years about veterans committing suicide. What the reporters leave out, among many, is the fact that if you are not "honorably" discharged, you are not counted as a veteran on anything. The news that LGBTQ+ are having other than honorable discharges changed, is a blessing, however, most of us are wondering what happens to the families when it is too late to honor the service of those who have committed suicide. What is justice for them?

The VA is aware of the problem these veterans have when they manage to get an honoranble discharge. LGBTQ+ Veteran Suicide Prevention proves that, but while today may seem like vindication for up to 100,000, what good does it do to those who are no longer alive because of the way they were treated?

What does justice look like for them?

Biden recognizes the 10th anniversary of 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal
Biden said that many of those veterans received what are known as “other than honorable” discharges, which excluded "them and their families from the vitally important services and benefits they had sacrificed so much to earn."

LGBT vets with other than honorable discharges will get VA benefits under new plan

Military Times
By Leo Shane III
September 17, 2021

Tens of thousands of LGBT veterans forced from the military for their sexual orientation and given other-than-honorable discharges will be able to receive full Veterans Affairs benefits despite their dismissal status under a new move set to be announced Monday.

The change comes as the country approaches the 10th anniversary of repeal of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law which forced nearly 14,000 service members out of the ranks for admitting their sexual orientation.

But the impact of the new VA announcement goes further than just those individuals, to potentially include troops who served before and after the law who may have been given bad performance reviews or intimidated into leaving the military because of their LGBT status.

Outside advocates estimate as many as 100,000 over the last 70 years may have been involuntarily separated from the military based on their sexual orientation. Data on how many received other-than-honorable discharges is not available.
read more here

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Air Force Veteran Fights Wrongful 90!

The Air Force expelled her in 1955 for being a lesbian. Now, at 90, she is fighting back
The Washington Post
Kyle Swenson
January 11, 2018

Her military career was over when she inked her name on the document. On March 3, 1955, James received an “undesirable” discharge from the Air Force.
Helen James at her home in California. 
(Courtesy of Helen James)

The barracks were thick with anxious whispers and rumors, but she figured there was nothing incriminating about leaving the air base for a sandwich.
On a Friday night in 1955, Airman Second Class Helen Grace James and another female service member left the field after work for dinner in a nearby town. The place was too crowded to sit down, so after getting food the two drove the wooded area south of where Hempstead Harbor stabs into Long Island. They found a quiet spot to eat. James cut the engine. She was reaching for her sandwich when flashlight beams ignited the car interior. Air Police. From the base. They had been followed.
“They asked us what we were doing,” James recently told The Washington Post.
James went on to a very successful life after the military. But she never fully pulled free from the experience. Now, at 90, and living in California, she’s fighting to right the historical wrong with a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force. The complaint asks the court to upgrade her discharge to “honorable,” thus restoring the California woman’s rights and honor as a more here

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mayor/Afghanistan Veteran Said "Yes" to Boyfriend

'He said yes!' South Bend mayor says he and his boyfriend are getting married
Associated Press
December 29, 2017

Buttigieg is a Rhodes scholar who served a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan in 2014 as a Naval Reserve officer.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced on Facebook Thursday that he and his boyfriend Chasten Glezman are engaged.(Robert Franklin / AP) 

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says he and his boyfriend are getting married.
The 35-year-old Democrat announced on Facebook Thursday that he and Chasten Glezman are engaged, writing that "He said yes!" The mayor's spokesman confirmed the announcement.
Buttigieg says he's looking forward to spending the rest of his life with Glezman, who is a middle school teacher.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Marines and Navy Offering Discharge Upgrades For DADT Ex-Servicemembers

Former sailors, Marines booted under gay ban urged to appeal
Navy Times
Meghann Myers
June 24, 2016

Since opening the service to gays and lesbians in 2011, the Navy has granted 123 discharge upgrades out of 413 requests, according to Defense Department data.
Navy Department leaders are encouraging thousands discharged under the repealed "Don't ask, don't tell" rules to appeal adverse separations. An estimated 5,600 LGBT sailors and Marines were kicked out while this policy was in effect from 1993 to 2011. WESTERN PACIFIC (June 20, 2016) - Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Luis Bermudez, from Orlando, Florida, speaks during a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride month celebration in USS John C. Stennis' (CVN 74) hangar bay. Bermudez displayed a shirt with the names of the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, June 12. Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago / Released) (Photo: MC3 Kenneth Rodriguez Santiago/Navy)
Navy Department officials are urging the thousands of sailors and Marines forced out of the military because of their sexuality in previous decades to come forward and appeal their discharge — in a step to restore benefits and right a historical wrong.

The Board for Correction of Naval Records can overturn a wide range of records, from counseling letters to detachments for cause, but recently they have been putting the word out to veterans who were separated because of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy — and its previous across-the-board ban — that they can have their discharges upgraded and their reenlistment codes or reason codes changed to reflect a post-DADT world.

"If you were discharged under 'Don’t ask, don’t tell,' come in," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a June 8 speech at a Pentagon event for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. "The Board of Corrections for Naval Records will take a look at changing that discharge characterization … If you have colleagues that were discharged under that, ask them to come in — if it’s under the regulations, get that discharge characterization changed."
read more here

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Gay PTSD Vietnam Veteran Celebrates Survival

Hayward veteran celebrates his survival, along with his gay bar
San Jose Mercury News
By Rebecca Parr
September 4, 2014
"It's never too late, but they have to be willing to walk through this. It's very painful. PTSD is like a cancer. It doesn't go away; it continues to grow and fester if not treated," Rev. Phil Salois
HAYWARD -- Larry Gray is throwing a party to celebrate not only his gay bar being in business for 30 years, but his own survival as well, as the gay Vietnam veteran has come to terms with his past after trying to forget it for years.

"It's still hard for me to talk about Vietnam. But I'm honest now with myself and others. I'm living my life as who I am," he said as he sat on the patio of his World Famous Turf Club on Main Street in downtown Hayward. "Maybe my sharing my story will help others."

Gray already had suffered trauma when he was drafted in 1967 at the age of 19. Three years earlier, his father died of a heart attack at age 44.

"He dropped dead in the living room in front of us. I was 16," he said.

At the same time, the adolescent was becoming aware of his sexuality.

"Having my father die in front of us, I had the emotion of dealing with that. At the same time, I was realizing I had different feelings about my sexuality. For a 16-year-old, that's too many emotions," he said.

In the 1960s, there was no information about homosexuality or help available to Gray.

"I had nobody to talk to. Homosexuality was still treated as a mental illness," he said.

Gray's story is a common one for Vietnam veterans, said the Rev. Phil Salois, recently retired chief of chaplain service at the Veteran Affairs Boston Healthcare System. Salois, who also served in Vietnam, has been helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder for more than 30 years. He also suffers from the condition.

"It took me 13 years before I started talking about it," Salois said.

He encouraged veterans suffering with PTSD to seek help at a VA center.

"It's never too late, but they have to be willing to walk through this. It's very painful. PTSD is like a cancer. It doesn't go away; it continues to grow and fester if not treated," Salois said.

"It takes time. When you've been traumatized, when you've seen death face-to-face, it's hard to process," he said.

Gray stopped telling people he was a veteran after being criticized.
read more here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Former Navy SEAL Alleges Anti-Gay CIA

Former SEAL alleges anti-gay harassment in CIA
Brett Jones says he was bullied, called slurs, left outside in hot weather during deployment
San Diego Union Tribune
By Joshua Stewart
July 28, 2015
“I don’t tolerate racism or bigotry, and for some reason, that line of work attracts some people that are like that,” Jones said. “And because of the way the small units are, it goes unchecked.”

Former Navy SEAL Brett Jones discusses the importance of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the continuing breakdown of boundaries for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals during the 2015 Cultural Awareness Day observance, April 10, 2015.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)

A former Navy SEAL who gained national attention for a memoir about being gay in one of the military’s elite communities has filed a complaint, saying he was the victim of homophobic bullying during a June deployment as a CIA contractor.

Brett Jones says when he arrived at his outpost in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan on June 11, he was forced to endure anti-gay bullying, including homophobic slurs, a crass PowerPoint presentation, and snide comments as people watched the news about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.

The atmosphere was so toxic that he feared for his safety and had to return home early, he said.

The anti-gay comments came from a group of contractors and civil servants in the CIA’s Global Response Staff, Jones said. Many, like himself, are former members of special-operations units. A few of them took issue with working alongside a gay man, Jones said.
read more here

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Army General Talks About Gay Marriage Ruling

Gay Army General Reflects on Supreme Court's Historic Ruling
by Bryant Jordan
Jun 29, 2015

The first general officer to come out as gay following the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011 says the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the country makes "a positive difference in many service members' lives" for practical and heartfelt reasons.

"The practical impact is uniformity in the recognition of family," Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith told "The heartfelt impact is that every family matters, regardless of who you marry."

Smith, who married Tracey Hepner in 2012 at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, was at Brooks Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, as the keynote speaker marking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month when she received word on Friday that the high court made same-sex marriage the law of the land.

Smith paused long enough to ask her wife -- a woman who had to remain invisible before the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- up to the podium while she announced the high court's ruling and read a portion of it.
read more here

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Navy Chaplain Faces Charges for Being Intolerant

Chaplain faces possible discharge for being 'intolerant'
Military Times
By Andrew Tilghman, Staff writer
March 11, 2015
"The Navy values, and protects in policy, the rights of its service members, including chaplains, to practice according to the tenets of their faith and respects the rights of each individual to determine their own religious convictions,"
Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Modder, second from right, offers an invocation during a 9/11 commemoration ceremony in San Diego in 2012. Modder is at the center of a controversy over religious freedom in the military.
(Photo: MC2 Benjamin Crossley/Navy)
A Pentecostal chaplain once assigned to elite Navy SEAL units may be kicked out of the Navy for allegedly scolding sailors for homosexuality and premarital sex.

Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Modder was given a "detachment for cause" letter on Feb. 17 after his commanders concluded that he is "intolerant" and "unable to function in the diverse and pluralistic environment" of his current assignment at the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina.

Modder denies any wrongdoing and is fighting the dismissal with attorneys from the Liberty Institute, which advocates for religious expression in the military and in public institutions. Modder has served more than 19 years and could lose his retirement benefits if the Navy convenes a board of inquiry and officially separate him before he completes 20 years of service.

Navy Capt. Jon Fahs, NNPTC commander, cited several specific incidents in which Modder offered inappropriate counseling to sailors in the command, according to the detachment for cause letter. The letter states that Modder:

Told a female that she was "shaming herself in the eyes of god" for having premarital sex.

Told another student that homosexuality was wrong and that "the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus."

Suggested to a student that he, Modder, had the ability to "save" gay people.

"Berated" a student for becoming pregnant while not married.

Commanders felt that allowing vulnerable sailors to be counseled by Modder is "a recipe for tragedy," according to the letter.

The issue arose after multiple sailors filed equal opportunity complaints about Modder with the command, alleging discrimination.
read more here

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Senator Says VA Needs to Halt Discrimination

Sen. Shaheen urges Veterans Affairs to halt “discriminatory policy” 
Metro Weekly
By Justin Snow
March 9, 2015
“No one who has served our country in uniform should be denied the benefits they’ve earned because of whom they love or where they live,” Shaheen said in a statement. “The VA should immediately halt enforcing this discriminatory policy until the Supreme Court or Congress acts to end it.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to suspend a policy in which the department recoups benefits awarded to same-sex couples until the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on marriage equality later this year.

The letter comes after the American Military Partner Association (AMPA) drew attention to an incident involving a veteran who was forced to repay the federal government for benefits she received but was later declared ineligible for after moving to a state that did not recognize her marriage to another woman.

The New Hampshire Democrat wrote in a March 9 letter to Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald that a moratorium on collection efforts should be enacted until the Supreme Court issues a decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, which is expected in June.

“I am hopeful that this issue will soon be addressed through either the legislative or judicial process,” Shaheen wrote, who has introduced legislation to legislation that would correct areas of federal law that continue to prevent the extension of benefits. “In the interim, I urge the Department to make every effort to mitigate the impact of this plainly discriminatory policy.”

Shaheen specifically mentions the case of Melissa Perkins-Fercha, an Iraq War veteran who received a 50 percent disability rating from the VA. Although the VA said she could not list her legally married wife and child as dependents because she lives in Texas, which does not recognize her marriage performed in Washington state, the VA failed to remove her wife and daughter from their system. That error resulted in Perkins-Fercha being compensated at the higher rate disabled veterans with dependents are entitled to, only for the VA to then remove her dependents and inform Perkins-Fercha that her disability compensation will be withheld until the compensation based on dependents is paid back.

“No one who has served our country in uniform should be denied the benefits they’ve earned because of whom they love or where they live,” Shaheen said in a statement. “The VA should immediately halt enforcing this discriminatory policy until the Supreme Court or Congress acts to end it.”
read more here
VA Wants Money Back From Texas Iraq Veteran

Sunday, March 1, 2015

VA Wants Money Back from Texas Iraq Veteran

Iraq War Veteran Stripped of Benefits For Wife and Daughter Because of the State They Live In 
IJ Review

An Iraq War veteran has been ordered to pay back the benefits she received from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) for her family.

The VA claimed the vet received them by mistake. According to The Advocate, Melissa Perkins-Fercha must pay back the federal money because she and her wife live in a state – Texas – which does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Perkins-Fercha, a disabled veteran, and her wife, got married in the state of Washington, in 2012. In 2014, her wife gave birth to their daughter. The VA covered Perkins-Fercha’s wife and daughter for less than a year.

Then they sent her a letter, informing the veteran that all of her benefits would be frozen until she paid back the money sent for her legally unrecognized family.
read more here

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tennessee Venue Told Iraq Veterans Yes Then No

Tennessee Wedding Venue Approves Then Denies Gay Couple

Just days after a wedding venue in Tennessee told a gay couple that they could hold their commitment ceremony there, the venue reversed course, citing the state's ban on gay marriage.

According to NBC affiliate WSMV, Iraq war veterans Anthony Wilfert and Brian Blas fell in love nine years ago while serving at Fort Campbell.

The men thought they had found the perfect venue for their ceremony after taking a tour of Mint Springs Farm.
read more here

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Va. benefits law won't help same-sex military couples

Va. benefits law won't help same-sex military couples
The Virginian-Pilot
By Bill Sizemore
Published: March 18, 2014

There's one group of military spouses who won't benefit from new state legislation aimed at helping couples stay together in the transitory world of shifting duty stations: same-sex spouses.

At least, not yet.

One in a series of measures designed to make Virginia one of the most military-friendly states in the country, state Sen. Mamie Locke's bill (SB18) would provide unemployment benefits to a military spouse who voluntarily gives up a job to follow a service member transferred to another location.

The measure was passed overwhelmingly by the General Assembly, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said he will sign it.

The legislation comes at a time when the word "spouse" is in legal limbo in Virginia.

An amendment to the state constitution approved by voters in 2006 says "only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions."
read more here

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vietnam veteran gets VA to pull Duck Dynasty "ugly divisive items" from store

Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion? Yes in both cases. Freedom does not mean you, or anyone else, has the right to use yours while abusing theirs. When Phil Robertson said something and people were hurt by it some came out and screamed about his right to say what he wants. That is absolutely true. He does have the right. So does everyone else.

When they were offended by his words and voiced their views publicly, supporters of Robertson came out and screamed about their faith and free speech. Just because they feel the same way does not mean they have the right to silence those who do not share their same views. Robertson does not represent all Christians and there are Christian denominations embracing gay people as God's children. That is what freedom means. Free to make your own choices and believe what you want. Freedom works both ways.

Today some will be screaming about Robertson and Duck Dynasty's right to make a fortune off a TV show while few will actually stop and think what freedom means. The very freedom veterans fought for and many died for. The freedom generations of homosexual military men and women were ready to die to protect while their own rights were removed.

Removing the products has little to so with the show but more to do with showing a religious view condemning the laws of the military shall not be tolerated.
Duck Dynasty products under fire at VA medical center
ABQ Journal
By Mike Bush
Journal Staff Writer
January 7, 2014

A Vietnam veteran has taken aim at Duck Dynasty products on sale at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center store in Albuquerque, and it looks like all the items in his cross hairs will be removed from the canteen’s shelves.

Robert Anderson is one of many people upset over a magazine interview in which Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson made comments they found racist and homophobic. In the January issue of GQ, the 67-year-old TV patriarch calls homosexuality a sin, comparing it with bestiality. Robertson, who is white, also claims that African-Americans he knew during the Jim Crow era in the South “were happy.”

On Dec. 27, Anderson – who served in the Air Force in Vietnam in the 1960s – wrote to the canteen that he was “greatly offend(ed) that the Veterans Administration Patriot Store would sell items promoting an entertainment group that clearly stands for racism and bigotry.

“The reactionary views incorporated into the Duck Dynasty group are contrary to the policies and mission of the VA medical system to not discriminate among veterans based on race or gender,” he continued. “Please remove these ugly divisive items immediately.”

A few days later, in an email to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Anderson urged quick action “to remove the racist and bigoted products” from VA canteens. On Monday, the Central New Mexico Community College instructor said he was still waiting to hear back from the national office.

Last week, Debra Abeyta, assistant chief of Canteen 501 in Albuquerque, advised Anderson that she, too, was “very upset by the racist remarks made” by Robertson, adding, “We here at the canteen service in no way promote such ideas and have taken steps to remove the product from the store.”
read more here

This is what he said he believed in 2010

While it was very difficult to listen to this whole video of Robertson's preaching what he wants, it became clearer that homosexuals are not his only target. Robertson says he does not believe in evolution even though many believe that God created the world that way. Even the brightest minds say that had the earth been created an inch away from where it began we wouldn't be here. Think about how magnificent that is. He has the right to simplify it anyway he wants.

He ranted about healthcare providers, abortion on and on pointing to the Founding Fathers.

He talks about killing animals but does not mention how putting the "creatures" into our hands also means caring for them along with the earth. Being a meat and potatoes type of person, appreciating the bounty of God providing these creatures into our care.

17:45 he begins on immorality. Running down the list of "sins" all lumped together. As he blows into his duck call devices he talked about Lincoln and the "little piece of meat" hanging down the back of your throat. I had to listen to this part a few times because it didn't make any sense.

This video has some pretty strong language but a friend sent a link to it because the hypocrisy of Robertson is spotlighted along with their yuppy histories. The show is a show but Robertson's preaching is not a show. He says it is what he believes. Pretty sad.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Marines quick action honors service of dying Marine

An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine
January 06, 2014
The Marines acted on his dying request in just two weeks. Last Friday in Florida, a small group presented Faulkner with his honorable discharge.

Hal Faulkner is 79 years old and he's already lived months longer than his doctors predicted.

"I don't know what to say, it's just incredible that I'm still here," Faulkner says in a halting voice made gruff by age and cancer.

Faulkner joined the Marines in 1953, and served in the Philippines. In 1956, he got kicked out with an "undesirable discharge" for being gay. His military papers said "homosexual" on them, quite an obstacle in the 1950s.

Still, Faulkner moved on, and had a successful career in sales.

A few years ago, when he got diagnosed with terminal cancer, Faulkner contacted his family about a dying wish.

"I always knew he served in the Marines, but no one in the family knew of the [undesirable] discharge," says his niece, Michelle Clark.
read more here

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Army extends new benefits to soldiers' same-sex spouses

Army extends new benefits to soldiers' same-sex spouses
Army Times
By Jim Tice
Staff writer
December 1, 2013

Army Secretary John McHugh has approved several policy changes that support extending military benefits to the same-sex spouses of soldiers.

The changes were prompted by a June 26 Supreme Court ruling that found portions of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

As a result, the Army now recognizes all marriages that are valid in the location where the wedding ceremony was performed, and “will work to make sure the same benefits are available to all spouses, regardless if they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages,” according to a directive issued Nov. 7 by McHugh.

Entitlements for same-sex spouses are retroactive to the June 26 court decision. The Army will not grant any claims to entitlements before that date, under the McHugh directive.
read more here

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gay Army couple says chaplain barred them from marriage retreat

Are military chaplains chaplains first or soldiers first? That is a simple question that has to be answered once and for all, and I do mean all. Not all Christians agree on anything and that needs to be clarified. Some have problems with gay people while others have no problem at all.. Who gets to decided which denomination wins? Who gets to decide which doctrine is "worthy" and which is not? Here is a pretty good list of churches and gay people.

But the military as part of the government these men and women vow to defend says this, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." In other words anything dealing with the freewill choice to believe or not shall not be taken out of their hands. It is their right to not join a church or group just as it is their right to decide on their own what they believe. The war on faith happens when one group tries to control everyone else but then screams their rights are being taken away from them. Nice little trick.
Gay Army couple says chaplain barred them from marriage retreat
Military Times
By Joe Gould
Staff writer
November 21, 2013

A same-sex couple at Fort Irwin, Calif., says they have been denied participation in an Army marriage enrichment program because of their sexual orientation, even though they are legally married.

Shakera Leigh Halford said her wife, a soldier at the post, approached a chaplain at Fort Irwin about participating in a “Strong Bonds” retreat at the base but was told the couple is “ineligible” because of their sexual orientation.

“I’m very sad and disappointed,” Halford said in a statement. “To know there are valuable resources available to soldiers and their families to help us through the challenges of military life, and then be told that we aren’t eligible because of our sexual orientation ... it hurts. It really hurts. We’re at a pretty secluded base and there aren’t many other resources out there for us, so what are we supposed to do?”

The retreat is one of the many services run by the Army’s Chaplain Corps. The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, has barred members from taking part in weddings, counseling sessions and couples retreats for same-sex couples. Similar restrictions apply to Roman Catholic chaplains.
read more here

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Air Force hired "pray away gay guy" for "ethics"

Air Force Academy's hiring of anti-gay author draws ire from advocates
Stars and Stripes
By Leo Shane III
Published: November 20, 2013

WASHINGTON — Gay rights advocates are demanding Air Force Academy officials explain why they hired a controversial anti-gay author as part of their ethics program, saying his views are offensive and potentially destructive.

It’s the latest controversy for academy officials who for years have fought to clean up their image as a haven for Christian fundamentalists. Advocates say it also raises questions about how seriously officials are working to end lingering discrimination against gay cadets.

Mike Rosebush, who now works as a research analyst for the academy’s Center of Character and Leadership Development, was hired by the academy in 2009, before the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” law was repealed.

The same year, he published “Sanctification Coaching: Sexual Purity and Peace for Christian Men with Same-Sex Attractions.” The book advocates using Christian teachings and prayer to overcome “wicked desires” like homosexual urges, and charts Rosebush’s own “struggles” to turn away from a gay lifestyle.

Before that, Rosebush was an active leader and speaker at numerous “conversion therapy” organizations, which maintain that same-sex urges can be overcome through discipline and prayer.
read more here

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Female Marine finds support after deplorable treatment customer in New Jersey

Online donations pour in for waitress who was refused a tip because she's gay
By Kristina Sgueglia
November 16, 2013
Instead of a tip, customers left Dayna Morales a note criticizing her for being gay "I feel bad for their children because that's how they are going to be raised," she says Online tips totaling more than $2,000 have poured in from around the world

(CNN) -- A New Jersey waitress who served in the Marine Corps for over two years told CNN Friday she is now getting tips from all over the world after she says a family refused to tip her because she is gay. "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with what your lifestyle and how you live your life," a family member wrote on the receipt for $93.55 at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

"I was offended. I was mad at first, and then I was more so hurt," 22-year-old Dayna Morales told CNN. Morales, who did a tour with the Marine Corps between 2009 and 2011, said she has been "out open and proud for years," but "never discussed with them (the family) anything; it was their pure assumption." "It's disrespectful and it's hurtful," she said. "I feel bad for their children because that's how they are going to be raised."

She says the trouble began when she approached the table of four -- a man, wife and two girls -- at around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Morales said that when she introduced herself as Dayna and told them she was going to be their server, the older woman "looked at me and said, 'I thought you were going to say your name is Dan.'"
read more here

Monday was Veterans' Day. Nice thing to do in front of her kids to a Marine willing to die to give her the right to be a jerk.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

West Point Hosts First Wedding Between 2 Men At Military Academy

West Point Hosts First Wedding Between 2 Men At Military Academy
Huffington Post

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Two West Point graduates were married Saturday in the military academy's first wedding between two men.

Larry Choate III, class of 2009, married Daniel Lennox, class of 2007, before about 20 guests.

Choate, 27, taught Sunday school at the U.S. Military Academy's Cadet Chapel and said he always thought of it as the place he would get married if he could.

West Point hosted two same-sex weddings of women in late 2012, more than a year after New York legalized gay marriage. But Saturday's wedding was the first time two men wed at West Point.
read more here

Friday, August 30, 2013

Iraq war vet who fought ‘Don’t Ask’ dies in car accident

Iraq war vet who fought ‘Don’t Ask’ dies in car accident
Washington Blade
By Chris Johnson
August 30, 2013

A gay veteran of the Iraq war who fought against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has died in a car accident in Rochester, N.Y., according to media reports and an LGBT advocate who worked with him.

Darren Manzella, who came out as gay in 2007 while serving in the Army during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” died on Thursday, said Steve Ralls, the former spokesperson for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network who handled his public relations at the time. Ralls said he had just turned 36 on Aug. 8.

Ralls said openly gay troops currently serving around the world today are able to do so, in part, because of Darren’s sacrifice.
read more here